Leo Kurian

Position: Lab Obi-Wan

About me: I am a chemist turned developmental biologists. I am fascinated by how RNA regulatory elements drive developmental decisions. In my lab we mainly focus on lncRNAs and RNA binding proteins in the context of cardiovascular development.
After completing my PhD in the lab of Dr. Jurgen Dohmen as an NRW graduate school fellow at the Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany, I moved to the lab of Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte at the SALK Institute. At SALK, my research was primarily focused in novel regulators dictating lineage commitment and development using Human ES and iPS cells as model system as a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) post-doctoral fellow. Specifically, I was developing methods to generate functional mesoderm derivatives from HES / HiPS cells as well as on indirect cell lineage conversion which lead to the identification of conserved functional long non-coding RNAs driving vertebrate development. After a short postdoc in the lab of Prof. Gene Yeo at UCSD, I started my independent group in April 2014 funded by NRW Stem Cell Network, University of Cologne and DFG. When I am not pipetting, I do B/W portraits, hike or boulder. Apart from that I am very lousy guitar player and a techno head.

Contact: leokurian@gmail.com/leo.kurian@uni-koeln.de


Gaurav Ahuja

Position: Post Doctoral Researcher


Wenjie Yao

Position: PhD student


Dr. Natalia Vargas

Deniz Bartsch

Position: PhD student (Lab muscle)

About me: I did my Master’s in Dr. Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld’s lab at the MPI for metabolism research in Cologne. In Kurian lab, I am trying to understand the role of RNA mediated mechanisms at the crossroads of tissue specific transcriptional, post transcriptional and co-translational mechanisms in gene regulation during embryonic development. My aim is to identify and characterize the interplay of novel players in the highly organized process of cardiac development. My super power is my ability to cope with difficult situations and my endurance. (When I am not in the lab I love doing sports, like working out in the gym, running, but also riding and skiing. I love to read about ancient history and culture and I am the singer in a metalcore band.

Contact: Deniz.bartsch@uk-koeln.de


Marie Gramm

Position: Master Student

Jens-Peter Derks

Position: Master Student

Nicole Russ

Position: Technician (Lab Labelling Machine)

About me: Before I joined Kurian lab, I was part of the Edenhofer group in the Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology in Bonn. In Kurian lab, I am developing a series of cardiovascular-specific pluripotent stem cell reporter lines using CRISPR/Cas9-based targeted gene editing. Apart from that, I make sure everything is organized in the lab. In my free time I enjoy playing Volleyball with my team. In relaxing moments I just love to read tons of books or just listening to music.

Contact: nicole.russ@uk-koeln.de


Triinu Linkgreim

Position: Bachelor Student


1. Dr. Stefan Frank 2014-2017, Post Doctoral Researcher
Current Position: Group Leader, ‎ Bayer Pharmaceuticals

2. Dr.Joanna Dodzian 2015-2016, Post Doctoral Researcher
Current Position: Manager (Animal Models)International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology Warsaw, Poland

3. Jan-Erik Messlin 2016-2017: Master Student
Current Position: PhD student University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Kurian Lab

Kurian Lab